Reducing the number of Indigenous children in care

The Government of Canada has co-developed, with Indigenous peoples, provinces and territories, new legislation to reduce the number of Indigenous children and youth in care and improve child and family services.

The Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families came into force on January 1, 2020.

On July 7 the Assembly of First Nations and Government of Canada signed a protocol co-developed by both organizations to establish a new structure to support discussions on the implementation of the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.

Protocol regarding An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families in relation to the Assembly of First Nations

About the act

Co-developed with Indigenous, provincial and territorial partners, the act:

On June 21, 2019, the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families became an official law, and on January 1, 2020, its provisions came into force.

What will happen on January 1, 2020

Indigenous groups who wish to do so can design and deliver child and family services solutions that best suit their needs. Just as the act was co-developed with our partners, we will continue to work with them through the transition and implementation phases of the act.

As of January 1, 2020:

ISC will continue to work with Indigenous groups who wish to exercise their jurisdiction as they decide which option they prefer to use.

To access a list of service providers consult the First Nations Child and Family Services interactive map.

If you need more information please contact us by:

A technical information package is also available in PDF format.

Co-development of federal legislation on Indigenous child and family services

During the summer and fall of 2018, the Government of Canada engaged with national, regional and community organizations representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis as well as Treaty Nations, self-governing First Nations and Inuit, provinces and territories, experts and people with lived experience, including Elders, youth and women. 65 engagement sessions were held across the country, with nearly 2,000 participants. These sessions were part of the co-development of legislation that contributes to comprehensive reform of Indigenous child and family services.

Indigenous children in foster care

In Canada, 52.2% of children in foster care are Indigenous, but account for only 7.7% of the child population according to Census 2016. This means 14,970 out of 28,665 foster children in private homes under the age of 15 are Indigenous.

Results from the 2011 National Household Survey also show that 38% of Indigenous children in Canada live in poverty, compared to 7% for non-Indigenous children.

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